Limbaugh Draws Bipartisan Criticism For Buttigieg Remarks

Rush Limbaugh reacts as first Lady Melania Trump, and his wife Kathryn, applaud, as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh drew bipartisan criticism Thursday for saying the country won’t elect Pete Buttigieg president because he’s been “kissing his husband” on stage after debates.

Limbaugh’s comments came eight days after President Donald Trump awarded him the nation’s top civilian honor during the State of the Union address. Trump said Limbaugh inspires millions of people daily and thanked him for “decades of tireless devotion to our country.”

Limbaugh, a staunch Trump ally who recently announced he has advanced lung cancer, made the remarks on his nationally syndicated radio show. Buttigieg has finished in the top two in Democrats’ first two presidential contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“They’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this going to look?'” Limbaugh said Wednesday, imagining Democrats’ thinking. “Thirty-seven-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage, next to Mr. Man, Donald Trump.'”

Limbaugh’s remarks were the latest tendentious turn in a career in which he’s won an adoring audience among millions of conservative listeners, but condemnation from others for comments considered racist, sexist and offensive.

Buttigieg, 38, is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and has been married to his husband, Chasten, since 2018. Buttigieg was a U.S. Navy intelligence officer in Afghanistan, is a Harvard graduate and was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University in England.

Limbaugh said he envisioned Democrats concluding that “despite all the great wokeness and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, that America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is challenging Buttigieg for the Democratic presidential nomination, assailed Limbaugh on ABC’s “The View.”

“I mean, my God,” said Biden, who called it “part of the depravity of this administration.” He added, “Pete and I are competitors, but this guy has honor, he has courage, he is smart as hell.”

Trump, asked if Americans would vote for a gay man to be president, responded, “I think so.”

Still, Trump added: “I think there would be some that wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be among that group, to be honest with you.” Trump spoke during an interview with Geraldo Rivera on Cleveland’s Newsradio WTAM.

Some Capitol Hill Republicans said they disagreed with Limbaugh’s remark, while others demurred.

“I’m just going to leave all that alone,” said conservative Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who said she’d not heard the comment. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, facing reelection this fall, also declined to comment.

“It’s a miscalculation as to where the country is at,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a strong Trump supporter, told The Associated Press about Limbaugh’s words. “I think the country is not going to disqualify somebody because of their sexual orientation.”

Asked if Limbaugh should retain the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which Trump bestowed last week during his State of the Union address, Graham said, “Well, my God. Free speech still exists.“

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said of Limbaugh, “He may disagree, as I do, with their policy positions, but the question is what their qualifications are, not other issues.” Portman announced his support for gay marriage in 2013 as he revealed that his son Will is gay.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a moderate who is retiring in January, initially said he wasn’t familiar with Limbaugh’s remarks and declined to comment. His spokesman later emailed an Alexander statement that said: “There may be reasons not to vote for Mayor Buttigieg, but that’s not one of them. This is a tolerant country.”

A Buttigieg campaign spokesman declined to comment.

But the candidate has addressed criticism over his sexuality before. During a Des Moines, Iowa, rally in 2019, an audience member asked what he should tell his friends who say America isn’t ready for a gay president. Buttigieg replied, “Tell your friends I said ‘hi.’”

The former mayor has also framed his sexuality in religious terms.

“If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said. “If you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

According to government websites, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Past winners have included Mother Teresa, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Frank Sinatra. Under Trump, the award’s recipients have included golfer Tiger Woods, supply side economist Arthur Laffer and Edwin Meese III, who was a top aide to President Ronald Reagan.

The 69-year-old Limbaugh also said some Democrats may believe they should “get a gay guy kissing his husband on stage, ram it down Trump’s throat and beat him in the general election. Really? Having fun envisioning that.”

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  1. He won’t middle America and Americans with true religious values won’t vote for him. Several New Hampshire democratic voters were asked if they’d vote for him And sites that fact like it or not

  2. Rush is right again.
    Mayor Pete, mayor of little town is an empty robotic twitch, he’s got nothing, other then being a disgusting sicko in public.
    Dems are all lowlife.
    He’s a pervert.
    I don’t care what the media want me to think they’re the one who are crazy.
    Rush should have a full recovery.

  3. “If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said. “If you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

    The creator hates and despises toaiva. He says it in the holy Bible. He doesn’t create a person a toaiva. There might be, for some, a leaning or desire to be one but that is where he must overcome that challenge. G-d is testing that individual to see if he will overcome his life challenge and follow the Torah, or will he succumb and fail his mission in life.
    We don’t apologize for being moral and following the Torah. It is they who must answer to their creator. We didn’t make the rules, we follow them.

    • Hashem said we should hate sin and those who cause others to sin. There should definitely be division between normal behaving people and sickos. And ignorance is the left who are engaging in perverted behavior and trying to enforce their sick lifestyle on others, including children.

  4. Mayor Pete is far more of a “Mr Man” than Trump. One is a war veteran and Rhodes scholar. The other is a draft dodger, a serial adulterer and a whiny little baby. “oh, Im treated so unfairly”” Oh my family has been through hell” That’s manly? It was disgraceful that Limbaugh was awarded the nations highest honor. His illness is well deserved.

    • Fake news.
      Pete had a desk job on a military base. That’s it. He was never in any combat. He never had any military training. He was never even given a gun. Making up lie’s to suit your political biases doesn’t change the facts on the ground.

      • Well, Fact Checker, you need a new name.
        Pete was a commissioned Ensign and later promoted to Lieutenant which means he did go through military training.
        While most of his work was in intel, he most certainly carried a gun as he was, among other assignments, an armed driver for his commander.

  5. This is fake news.

    I’m sure many Americans support Limbaugh on this, and oppose Pete, from both parties.

    A similar article could therefore be written, “Limbaugh remarks on candidate draw bipartisan support”.

    But the liberal media does not want to highlight that side. It doesn’t fit into their agenda of promoting perversion.


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